by Frank J. Casella, Executive Director
There is a banner that sometimes hangs in my church that reads ” Christ Has No Hands But Ours “. From the moment that I first read these words caused me to reflect on the many ways that God has blessed me, or used me, and made a difference in this world.
I have been taught from my childhood to love God with all your heart, soul, and mind. To do things God’s way – spelled out in the Bible and the Catholic Catechism – and trust Him for the outcome. A recent example of this has been with my health. Specifically, I recently re-injured a herniated disc from a car accident a decade ago. This happened because I wasn’t taking care of my heath. But as soon as I went under doctors care, and asked for prayers from the parish community for what the doctor couldn’t do, things started healing and mending. A few years ago, the x-ray showed the vertebrae in my neck was rubbing together and arthritic, and this recent X-ray showed complete healing – the arthritic activity gone and the vertebrae perfect textbook spacing.
Likewise, because ‘my other life’ has been as a photographer, there have been times when I have provided a Catholic Organization pictures pro-bono because they could not afford my fees … sometimes at the expense of putting food on my table. Because of it though, one time I got a letter from a man in prison who shared how my pictures that he saw in a publication inspired him to become a Catholic. Years later he sent another letter to share that he was out of prison, now a Catholic, and was looking into becoming a Catholic Deacon. He never forgot the message in those pictures!
Over the past two decades my wife and family have been able to live on much less than the average American household. Though we use financial principles from the Bible and the Catholic Catechism, this doesn’t mean that we don’t suffer. God promises all of us that He would bless us and answer prayer, but He didn’t promise that it would be easy. There have been times that money would show up in my mailbox the day we had an important bill due, and one check cleared at the bank the same day when its suppose to take three days. Then the time that my wife had to go through a procedure at a Catholic hospital, and three weeks later we got a letter ( from the hospital ) that someone paid our bill in full. Other times we’d find bags of food on our front porch when we came home from church. The list seems endless.
The following scripture verse was one of the readings at my wedding, little did my wife and I know then how true this is and how it would become an everyday part of our lives…
Matthew Chapter 6:Dependence on God. 25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat [or drink], or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? 26Look at the birds in the sky; they do not sow or reap, they gather nothing into barns, yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are not you more important than they? 27Can any of you by worrying add a single moment to your life-span? 28Why are you anxious about clothes? Learn from the way the wild flowers grow. They do not work or spin. 29But I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was clothed like one of them. 30 If God so clothes the grass of the field, which grows today and is thrown into the oven tomorrow, will he not much more provide for you, O you of little faith? 31So do not worry and say, ‘What are we to eat?’ or ‘What are we to drink?’ or ‘What are we to wear?’ 32All these things the pagans seek. Your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. 33But seek first the kingdom (of God) and his righteousness, and all these things will be given you besides. 34Do not worry about tomorrow; tomorrow will take care of itself. Sufficient for a day is its own evil”.
The past few weeks in this Weekly Write-up we’ve talked about the Right of Passage, and The Year of Faith. Many of us where born into the Catholic Faith, and now its up to us to example what we learned to our children and grandchildren…. and to those who never had a man or parent who taught the faith. Our culture is in a state of confusion from politics to parenting. People today don’t want to hear that you are a Catholic, they want to experience what it means to be an authentic Catholic. If you feel that you have fallen short in your faith, know that the difference between you and the Catholic Saints is they turned their shortcomings into virtues…. and so can you. Know that the most wonderful Catholic’s that I have met, and who’ve inspired me, constantly feel they are falling short in living their faith. Know that the only way that you fail in living and mentoring the Faith is to give up.
Ask God every day from your heart ” what do you think I should do “? Then listen and look, God will answer you through the Holy Spirit, the Bible, the Church, other people, circumstances, or prayer, to name a few. Study and live the Virtues of a Catholic Man and The Catholic Man’s Toolbox. Then watch what happens when you don’t allow distractions from putting “But seek first the kingdom (of God) and his righteousness” to work!
God has no hands but ours … He doesn’t lie.